ERP solutions that can streamline complex supply chains, optimize inventory management and automate management of operations are vital to manufacturers. Strategies for personalized and extended ERP systems that meet each industry player’s unique requirements are increasing with each passing day. It is no surprise that the ERP market remains in a phase of rapid expansion, with a total market size expected to exceed $49.5 billion by 2024.

The problems faced by manufacturers are becoming increasingly complex and urgent in nature, particularly due to the disruption of the COVID-19pandemic. This necessitates adopting an ERP to handle this complexity. However, implementing an ERP can be complex and studies by Gartner show that ERP implementation failure rates can exceed 75%.

ERPs continue to get more technologically advanced leveraging the latest innovative technology. Gartner predicts that by 2022, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be integrated into ERP systems by 65% of CIOs. However, this does not imply that ERP implementation will be easy. Global Consultancy McKinsey estimates that more than 70% of all digital transformations fail.

So for a smooth and successful ERP implementation, here’s the first half of a twelve-step plan to guide you through every stage.

1. Define Project Scope

The first step to any project is to clearly and concisely define well thought out and achievable goals. Goals are the best way to bookmark project milestones and boost team morale. In addition to this, when objectives are laid out there is an increased ability to anticipate potential risk factors. Alongside the scope of the project it is important to delegate tasks to various teams and roles in order to establish accountability.

2. Choosing an ERP System

Selecting a type of ERP that suits your needs is the next crucial step. This is a task that falls into the hands of industry executives as it is imperative to the success of the implementation that the right form of ERP implementation is chosen. Such a decision can be made once all the specific requirements of your industry have been taken into account. You can choose from:

  • A custom-built ERP system.
  • A Cloud based industry solution.
  • A Customized cloud-based ERP system.

You can also choose a partner for ERP implementation instead of handling it entirely by yourself.

3. Create a Project Plan

This is where the previously defined scope for the project gets a bit more detailed. Here we establish the correlation between the goals and what they aim to achieve – the objective of the goal. Setting a timeline in place for these goals can keep the implementation on track. Creating micro level to-do lists for team members and functional point checklists for the team as a whole can help stick to the established timelines. Bearing in mind the development partner you can also create a few case studies.

4. Segment Implementation Phases

Identifying modules of ERP for your business can simplify and segment the process into more bite sized chunks for your teams to work on. It can also help to map out your business processes to gain enhanced levels of transparency. As you continue to move along your ERP implementation journey it would help to prepare a gap-analysis document for a more thorough ERP implementation that addresses all your concerns.

5. Define an Achievable Schedule

Flexible schedules are best in order to compensate for any adjustments that are bound to crop up in the course of your ERP implementation. Keeping everything detailed is key in this case and consulting your IT partner frequently can ensure that there are no discrepancies in expectations. Another way to define a schedule that is practical is to include regular status update reports that can keep your team aware of progress and adjust workload distribution accordingly.

6. Establish a Communication Plan

As with any endeavor communication is key. You can keep this high on your priority list by scheduling frequent meetings with IT partners and making sure that everyone is on the same page. You could go one step further in scheduling mid-way approvals and fixing agendas for upcoming meetings. Keeping as much communication in the loop as possible would be beneficial and overcome any potential miscommunication.

In part 2 of this blog series, we will cover the next 6 steps for a successful ERP implementation.

Are you interested in implementing a new ERP system for your enterprise? Would you like to develop a contingency plan for a successful implementation? Our team at SolutionsX would be happy to help. We provide expert solutions for your organization’s ERP needs. With more than a decade of manufacturing industry experience our SolutionsX consultants are not only a point of contact but an ongoing personal guide in building and integrating a system that fits with your operations, goals and culture. Reach out to us at SolutionsX to find out more.